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Reviewed by Cheryl E. Rodriguez for Readers' Favorite
Deborah’s Gift by Lois Ann Abraham is a tale of triumph born out of tragedy. Deborah’s parents died when she was young, leaving Deborah in the care of her grandmother in St. Louis. Deborah learns to paint her way out of heartache. She hopes that one day she will be free to paint all that she can imagine. When her grandmother dies, Deborah’s world is once more consumed with grief. Tante Charity becomes her guardian. She is strict and controls everything in Deborah’s life. Tante took Deborah to the family estate in Martinique, in the Caribbean, when she was sixteen. It is on the tropical island of Mount Pelee that Deborah came of age. Deborah became pregnant and was forced to leave her baby boy Gianni behind. Deborah vowed to be free of her cruel Tante and return to Martinique and her beloved Gianni. Deborah’s gift is her solace, it drives her, takes her to the brink of madness, and then sets her free.
Lois Ann Abraham has a refined gift of storytelling and writes a beautiful, yet heartbreaking historical tale in Deborah’s Gift. Her descriptions go beyond mere illustrations as they reveal the passion and power of the imagination. The reader is immersed in the story, plunged into the heart and soul of the main character. Poignant, elegant, and horrific narrative pictures flood the pages. The novel sucks you in and doesn’t let you go. The protagonist is compelled, she is a slave to her gift. The antagonist’s attempts to stifle and subdue the gift create a propellent, which only fuels the artistic fire and fervor. The conflict simmers page after page until the turning point releases an eruption of massive proportions. My mind's eye looked deep into the narrative to behold, feel and mentally touch the portrayal of the eruption of Mount Pelee. Exquisite writing! As the main character arcs, her gift for painting becomes her salvation from the horrors of her life. Using your gifts provides a means of escape, allowing you to triumph even in tragedy. Abraham unveils the artistry, purpose, depth, and clarity of life. The book lingers in your soul and continues to speak long after the last sentence is read.